The 2011 Milou Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay sourced from vineyards near the town of Asperes in the Languedoc grape growing region in the south of France. The Milou Chardonnay is designated a Vin de Pays D’Oc, which indicates that the grapes are representative of the Languedoc, but the wine was not produced according to the rules and regulation of the AOC ruling board. Usually inexpensive wines are made to Vin de Pays rules and not AOC rules because the wine is intended for the American market and we like our value wines be more “new world” than the French do. “New World” means a little more fruit forward and a little lighter on the acidity and minerality. One benefit of not conforming to the tougher rules is that the back label has technical information and pairing suggestions, very user friendly. Chardonnay in the Languedoc does not have the reputation that the Chardonnay of Burgundy enjoys, but the clay and limestone soil in the vineyards used here are very similar to the vineyards in Chablis. This Chardonnay was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, so there is no oak conditioning. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a crystal clear golden yellow. The nose is full and pretty, tropical fruit, peach and pear, a touch of orange blossom honey and a light floral scent. The Milou Chardonnay has good weight on the palate, it feels substantial. It tastes of peach, pear, pineapple, yellow delicious apple and lemon. The mid palate adds a balanced slap of minerality, apricot and fresh squeezed lime. There is lip smacking acidity, but not out of balance with the body of the wine, this is a food Chardonnay. The finish is full and long.
The 2011 Milou Chardonnay is a very solid, $10 to $12 French Chard. It has more body than you usually see in an unoaked Chardonnay and it has that balance that French Chardonnay is known for. It tastes great, it is one of those wines that keeps you reaching for your glass to take another sip. As for pairing suggestions, the Milou has enough body to stand up to a wide variety of cuisines and the fruit/citrus, ying/yang tastes offer a wide range of complimentary flavors. But, if you are like me, just grab a chilled bottle of Milou and a couple of glasses and watch the sun go down, now thats a pairing.